Written by Anne Mason-Brothers. One in a collection by Allen Bachoroski, Local Historical Writer and author of “Tales Along the Highway of Legends”
The original information we gathered on the Lynch family is from the tombstones in the Catholic cemetery in Trinidad, Colorado. There are two tall imposing spires in the middle of seemingly empty field. Neglect, vandalism, and an uncaring attitudes by workers who knocked down many of the stones and destroyed the monuments to families loved ones, according to Arthur Mitchell, Trinidad historian. Holy Trinity Catholic Church has no records for the time period when most of the Lynch family members passed away except for the death of Mary Lynch and Willie Lynch.
The saga of the plight of the Irish was a very tragic one in human history, having been invaded and pushed off their ancient family lands, only to become tenants on their own ancestral homes. Then the famine stuck and millions died. Those who survived gathered up what little they had and sent a least one family member to America to work and send funds home for the rest of the family to come. This was the case of the Lynch family. When I first stood in front of their monuments in the Catholic cemetery in Trinidad, I got the sense of profound sadness, as many of their children died at a young age-there is no written records to tell us why.
Thomas Lynch was born about 1834 in Ireland and died June 18, 1889. Mary Catherine O’Reilly’s name is on the tombstone, but no dates are listed. Her data is from census records. They had the following children, as we have been able to put together:
1. M. Bomard ‘Barney’ -name from photo
2. Phillip Patrick born May 15, 1859, Dublin, Ireland (O’Mara family Bible record & tombstone) 3. Thomas M. Lynch born about 1864, died June 16, 1887 (tombstone)
4. Owen, May 23, 1865, Dublin city records, Ireland
5. Mary, May 23, 1866, Dublin city records, Ireland
6. John J., born April, 1871 in Virginia and died January 25, 1886 (tombstone)
The birth records Owen Lynch from the City of Dublin, Ireland state that the Lynch’s lived at 5 Ballybough Rd #1 North City, Union of North Dublin. Thomas’ occupation is listed as a boot & shoemaker. On the birth certificate of Thomas’ daughter, Mary, the name & dwelling place of father- is listed “Thomas Lynch-America” and the informant was listed as Michael Weddick, Chief Resident Officer, County Workhouse. So Thomas went off to America and the family lived at the workhouse until he was able to send money for them to come to the U. S. It must have been difficult to leave your wife and family in poverty and go to a strange land amongst strangers.
Their son, John, was born in Virginia, so that is possibly where they emigrated to. The next place we find the Lynch family was in Trinidad, Colorado. Thomas had a shoe store at 215 N. Commercial and lived on Kansas Ave. Their sons, Thomas died at age 22 years, John at 14 years, and Phillip at 30 years of pneumonia. The 1900 census records in Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas were checked, but Owen, Barney, Mary could not be found. They disappeared somewhere. Their mother, Mary, died in Trinidad on August 25,1894, according to the records at the Catholic cemetery .There is also a child, Willie, in the Catholic cemetery records who died July 2, 1895, age 6 years, but it is not known who he is related to.
The following are obituaries for Phillip, Thomas, and Mary Lynch published in the Trinidad Daily News: Friday, November 29,1889 Died in this city, Wednesday evening, Phil Lynch, o f pneumonia, aged 30 years, .The funeral occurred at 2 o’clock this afternoon from the Catholic Church. June 18, 1889. Thomas Lynch, the Commercial Street shoemaker, died last night about 2 o’clock of heart disease. The remains will be buried tomorrow. June 20, 1889. The funeral of Thomas Lynch took place from the residence of the deceased on the North side, this morning at 10 o’clock. The remains were followed to the grave by a large concourse of sorrowing friends. August 27, 1894 The funeral of Mrs. Thos. Lynch occurred this afternoon at 2 o’clock from the Catholic church. She has been in poor health the past two years and has been staying at the hospital where she died Saturday night.
It is not known why the Lynchs came to Trinidad, Colorado, but they must have had a friend or relative there. Mary O’Reilly Lynch might have been related to Hugh T. O’Reilly’s family. He was married in Trinidad to Anna Mary Daly on January 30, 1894, his parents were listed as James and Elizabeth O’Reilly. They moved to Denver and are buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery there. It was also thought that possibly Thomas Lynch was related to Matthew Lynch from Cavan, Ireland who discovered the Aztec gold mines in Elizabethtown, New Mexico and his brother, James who was a banker and built the Lynch block building in Trinidad. The probate records were checked for any evidence of a relationship in Trinidad and Colfax County, New Mexico, but none was found.
Phillip Patrick Lynch married Katherine O’Mara on October 24, 1880 at Holy Catholic Church in Trinidad, Colorado. Their first daughter was born in Osage City, Kansas on September 4, 1881 and was baptized at St. Patrick’ s Church by Thomas E. Moore, her sponsors were Thomas Graham and Ellen Cahill. Their second daughter, Mabel Agnes, was born in Denver on Apri124, 1883.
Kate Lynch moved to Denver in 1890 with her two daughters, Maggie and Mabel. To make a living they continued their careers on the vaudeville circuit around the Midwest. Maggie & Mabel began in show business around 1885 until 1897. There are photos of them in Salt Lake City, Utah; Saint Louis, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; Dubuque, Iowa: Luling, Texas; and Cairo, Illinois. Their careers ended when Maggie met John Charles Mason in Texas in 1897. John’s family owned a hotel in Gonzales, Texas. They were married September 8, 1989 at St. Regis College in Denver, Colorado. Mabel lived with her mother, Kate Lynch, and her grandfather, Thomas O’Mara (see his story which is attached) until Kate died in 1902. Mabel taught at Bell’s Dramatic Exchange in Denver according to the Denver City Directory. Mabel then married Patrick Higgins of Denver on June 17, 1903. He was the son of Michael Higgins and Catherine Butler. We do not know if Patrick died or they were divorced. On October 5, 1916, Mabel married Kenneth Williams in New Orleans on their way to Peru where Kenneth worked as a mining engineer. Mabel lived in Salt Lake City for while and he was a professor of mining at the University of Utah. Kenneth also worked for Phelps Dodge in Douglas, Arizona and in Noranda, Canada. According to his lengthy obituaries, he was highly esteemed in his profession and in his personal life.
My father told me he invented a device that saved mining companies millions of dollars. Quite a bit of gold was going up the smoke stack during the smelting process, so his invention prevented the gold from going up the smokestack. Mabel and Kenneth had no children. He died of a heart attack on February 3, 1942 at the age of 59 years in Noranda, Canada. Mabel died in San Diego on May 28, 1954. Maggie Lynch Mason died September 8, 1922 in Cisco, Texas in an accident while refurbishing a hotel. John Charles Mason was a volunteer fireman in Gonzales, Texas and he died when he fell of the fire truck and was run over on August 29, 1926.
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